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This is the official website for the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association, established in 1873. We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.


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Welcome to the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association!

For over 130 years the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association has been serving the Los Angeles Beekeeping Community. Our group membership is composed of commercial and small scale beekeepers, bee hobbyists, and bee enthusiasts. So whether you came upon our site by design or just 'happened' to find us - welcome! Our primary purpose is the care and welfare of the honeybee. We achieve this through education of ourselves and the general public, supporting honeybee research, and practicing responsible beekeeping in an urban environment. 

"The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others."  Saint John Chrysostom 

Next LACBA Meeting: Monday, April 3, 2017. Meeting: 7PM. Open Board Meeting: 6:00PM.

Beekeeping Class 101:
 Class #3, April 8, 2017, 9AM-Noon, The Valley Hive. See our Beekeeping Class 101 page for details & directions. BEE SUITS REQUIRED.

Check out our Facebook page for lots of info and updates on bees; and please remember to LIKE US: 



Asia’s Bee Mites Alarmingly Resistant

AsianScientist       Asian Scientist Newsroom     March 7, 2017

A study of the Tropilaelaps mercedesae genome has revealed that conventional mite control strategies might not work.

The genome of the parasitic bee mite Tropilaelaps mercedesae suggests that existing methods to prevent bee colony collapse might be ineffective. These findings have been published in GigaScience.

Although there are many potential causes for the decline in honey bee colonies, pathogens and parasites of the honey bee, particularly mites, are considered major threats to honey bee health and honey bee colonies. The bee mite T. mercedesae is honey bee parasite prevalent in most Asian countries, and has a similar impact on bee colonies that the globally present bee mite Varroa destructor has. With the global trade of honey bees, T. mercedesae is likely become established world-wide.

To preempt the impact of T. mercedesae infestation, an international team of researchers from Jiaotong-Liverpool University sequenced its genome and compared it to the genome of free-living mites.


As opposed to the free-living mites, T. mercedesae has a very specialized life history and habitat that depends strictly on the honey bee inside a stable colony. The researchers found that the T. mercedesae genome has been shaped by interaction with the honey bee and colony environment.

Interestingly, the authors found that the mite does not rely on sensing stimulatory chemicals to affect their behavior. The researchers noted that this discovery meant that, “control methods targeted to gustatory, olfactory, and ionotropic receptors are not effective.” Instead, control measures will have to use other targets when trying to disrupt chemical communication.

“There will be a need to identify targets for biological control,” they added.

Furthermore, the researchers found that T. mercedesae is enriched with detoxifying enzymes and pumps for the toxic xenobiotics, which help them quickly acquire resistance to miticides.

However, the study also revealed a potential alternative to miticides. The researchers found that Rickettsiella grylli commonly infect T. mercedesae, suggesting that targeting these bacteria might be one way to control the mite population.

They also found that R. grylli was involved in horizontal gene transfer of Wolbachia genes into the mite genome. Wolbachia is a bacteria that commonly infects arthropods, but is not present in T. mercedesae.

Although up to a horizontal gene transfer has been detected in as many as a third of all sequenced arthropod genomes, this is the first example of horizontal gene transfer in mites and ticks, the authors noted. Since Wolbachia bacteria do not currently infecting the mites, these findings indicate that Wolbachia was once a symbiont for T. mercedesae or its ancestor but has been replaced with R. grylli-like bacteria during evolution, they added.

The extent of honey bee colony destruction remains a complex problem, but one that has an extensive impact crop productivity since honey bees are needed for pollination of a variety of plants. Indeed, in several places in China, farm workers have begun to carry out manual pollination to maintain high crop yield in orchards. Thus, research and resources to help combat this global threat are needed now. These genome, transcriptome, and proteome resources from the T. mercedesae study add another weapon in the fight to save bee colonies.

The article can be found at: Dong et al. (2016) Draft Genome of the Honey Bee Ectoparasitic Mite, Tropilaelaps Mercedesae, is Shaped by the Parasitic Life History.” ——— Source: GigaScience. Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Read more from Asian Scientist Magazine at:


Surprised Honeybees Give 'Whopping Signal' in the Hive, Study Shows

PHYS.ORG     February 15, 2017

A honeybee signal – widely thought to be used by bees in the hive to prevent one another from advertising the location of food – could also be a response to being startled or surprised, according to scientists.

Researchers at Nottingham Trent University monitored the vibrations passed between bees in a bid to learn more about the 'stop signal', used by the insects to warn of potential dangers outside the hive.

The researchers argue that the signal, which appears as a 'whooping' sound, occurs in many instances when it is not purely inhibitory. This includes, regularly, when the bees become surprised or startled by involuntary stimuli.

The stop signal is a pulsed vibrational message believed to be directed at bees performing the 'waggle dance' – the method through which they share information about the location of food with other members of the colony.

But the researchers, writing in the journal PLOS One, have found that this signal occurs far too frequently – and at the wrong times of day – for it to only carry an inhibitory function.

They found that the vast majority of such signals occurred at night – when there would be no waggle dances being performed – with a distinct reduction towards midday, when more waggle dances would be occurring.

They also found instances where the signal was produced more than five times per minute, for several successive days, within a small area of the colony.

The scientists were able to show that the signal regularly occurred as a result of accidental collisions between bees within the hive, suggesting that it is an involuntary startle response to a surprise stimulus – such as being landed on by a falling nest mate.

The high occurrences of the signal at night could be due to the increased numbers of bees within the hive at that time, they suggest.

It was also found that the signal peaks when the weather is particularly bad and the bees cannot leave the hive.

It is well known that honeybees use vibrational signals to transfer information to one another across the honeycomb.

The new study, led by researchers in the university's School of Science and Technology, is the first to successfully achieve long-term automated and non-invasive monitoring of honeybee vibrational messages from within the heart of colonies.

It involved placing ultra-sensitive vibrational sensors called accelerometers into the honeycomb in the centre of two hives in the UK and France, continuously recording the vibrational amplitude and frequency over the course of a year. Home-built computer software then enabled the team to scan through a full year of recordings to detect the specific pulse of interest.

A specially-developed observation hive was also used to make video recordings of bees in real-time with the vibrational recordings.

It was found that the same signal could be elicited en masse by gently shaking or knocking the hive.

"We have found that this signal is remarkably common, much more than previously thought," said Dr Martin Bencsik, researcher and physicist at Nottingham Trent University.

He said: " Scientists in the past have explored this signal in artificial circumstances where they ensured that the bees under investigation would be trying to inhibit other bees.

"In our study we have not manipulated our bees in any way, and this has revealed totally unexpected results, yielding new interpretations but also yet more mystery around this brief honeybee vibrational pulse. We believe that in only a small number of instances is it used as an inhibitory signal and therefore have proposed a new name – the 'whooping signal'."

Researcher Michael T. Ramsey added: "Through our work we are expanding the understanding of honeybee communication. This vibrational pulse was originally known as the 'begging signal' as it was believed to be a request for food, then it was thought to be a purely inhibitory 'stop signal'. Now we have taken this another step forward.

"It shows promise that our methods can be used as a sensitive way of monitoring and assessing colony status for these hugely important pollinators."

 Explore further: Vibrating bees tell the state of the hive

More information: Michael Ramsey et al. Long-term trends in the honeybee 'whooping signal' revealed by automated detection, PLOS ONE (2017). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171162 

Journal reference: PLoS ONE

Read more at:


LACBA Meeting: Monday, March 6, 2017

Join us for the next meeting of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association
Date: Monday, November 6, 2016
Location: Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, 3561 Foothill Blvd., La Crescenta, CA 91214
Open Board Meeting: 6:00PM
Regular Meeting: 7:00PM
Topic: Website and Facebook Management

Board Meeting Agenda Items for March 6, 2017

1. The LACBA website
2. Possibility of raising membership dues
3. (If time allows) Swarm-Removals page management at

Our board meeting will be held at 6pm, March 6th, the night of our main meeting, to handle business issues, followed by our regular meetings to talk about the fun stuff, bees! All members wishing to weigh in on business matters are invited to join our board meetings. Any decisions warranting a full membership vote will be discussed at the board meeting and a board recommendation in the form of a motion will be presented with a brief summary of pros and cons at the main meeting for members to vote on.


1,000 Acres of Iowa Land Donated for Honey Bee Forage

CATCHE THE BUZZ   By Paul Te    March 5, 20187

A small city in Iowa has taken an action to save the bees from extinction. Acres of land were donated to increase the local habitats of the bees.

Over the past decade, bees are steadily disappearing. Worker bees disappear and leaving behind the queen. With a few nursing bees to take care of the immature bees, a colony usually collapse. Scientists are puzzled by this phenomenon while a drastic rise in a number of disappearances continues.

As part of the complete ecosystem, bees are one of the most important creatures on earth. They are living for millions of years doing the same function – pollination. Without pollination, plants would not flourish and scarcity of food for other living things increases.

Since humans are overpopulating the earth expanding to bee native territory, the bees’ habitat are disappearing rapidly. Also, climate change and pesticides are making their numbers low.

According to One Green Planet, Cedar Rapids, a small town in Iowa, is donating 1,000 acres of land to increase local bee habitats. This is proposed initiative of Cedar Rapids Park Superintendent Daniel Gibin to save the pollinators from disappearing totally.

The initiative plan was to create 188 of those 1,000 acres of new bee habitat by 2017. They will reintroduce 39 native wildflowers and 7 native grass species to the area. With their natural food’s abundant, populations hopefully will rise.

Daniel Gibin in his statement in Popular Science, “with the agricultural boom around 100 years ago, about 99.9 percent of all habitat of Iowa has been lost.” Gibin in his steady vision to save bees, converting the land back to the originally native Iowa, Iowans could help more than just native pollinators but also other local creatures.

Gibin and his team make used of the idle public land where they could plant grasses and flowers. Totaling of nearly 500 acres, parks, local airports, sewage ditches, golf courses, water retention basins and road-right-of-way, the team are gearing up for a land make-over before they can seed the land with pollinator plant mix.

However, still, the 1,000 Acre Pollinator Initiative is considering funding for the next four years and are not expecting to see several pollinators immediately after the initial progress. The team is confident that the project will really help to save the bees and are hopeful that it will serve as a model for the rest of the country.


Boy Swarmed By Bees Taken To Phoenix Hospital

GilaValleyCentral    By Jon Johnson   February 21, 2017

Child Stung More Than 400 Times

Contributed Photo/Courtesy 3TV/CBS5 News: From left, grandparents Petrea and Kreg Kunz watch over 11-year-old Andrew Kunz at the Phoenix Children's Hospital. Andrew was stung more than 400 times in a killer bee attack Monday.

GRAHAM COUNTY – An 11-year-old boy who was swarmed by likely “killer” Africanized bees early Monday evening is being treated at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital for more than 400 stings.

As of early Tuesday afternoon, Andrew Kunz was still in the pediatric intensive care unit but has had his intubation tube removed and indicated he was hungry, according to his grandmother, Petrea Kunz. She said he is very traumatized by the event, but he is responding well to treatment and they are hopeful he will be transferred to a step-down room later that day or the next. Petrea considers Safford Fire Chief Clark Bingham, who pulled Andrew out of harm’s way, as their savior and that Andrew would have died in that wash if not for his and other first responders’ efforts.  

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Petrea Kunz: Andrew Kunz had to be initially intubated after being stung more than 400 times. He is also allergic to all stinging insects.

Two members of the Graham County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Jacob Carpenter and deputy Justin Baughman, along with Bingham were taken to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center for multiple bee stings they suffered while rescuing Andrew. The first responders were treated and released. Carpenter was reportedly stung approximately 20 times, Bingham was hit 25-30 times, and deputy Baughman was stung about 100 times. The following day, Gila Valley Central caught up with Baughman who said he was no worse for wear. He declined to comment further at that time saying only that he was just doing his job.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: The beehive was located in this rusted car used as erosion control.

Graham County Dispatch directed first responders to the area of a residence in the 1600 block of Sunset Boulevard at about 5:26 p.m., Monday, after Petrea Kunz called regarding her grandson, Andrew Kunz, being attacked by bees. The area is in between Airport Road and E. Graham Canal Road. 

The danger for Andrew was intensified because he was previously stung more than 90 times by ants when he was in Kindergarten and was found to be allergic to any stinging insect and carried an Epinephrine Auto-Injector (EpiPen) with him.

“He is actually our little miracle guy,” Petrea said. “He is still hurting. They are going to check his eyes. They think they may have been scratched from the stingers, (and) we’re still watching to see if the venom is attacking the red blood cells and if its attacking his muscles.” 

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Petrea Kunz: Andrew Kunz suffered more than 400 bee stings.

Petrea said Andrew yelled for help as he was being attacked but they couldn’t find him. At that point, a 9-year-old boy arrived and said he was with Andrew when they were attacked by bees in a gully in the desert behind the residence.

After calling 911, Petrea said Andrew called her phone and was telling her, “help me, help me. The bees are killing me.”

She then was able to hear the general direction where he was and could see he was having difficulty climbing back up the hill to the residence. Officers then arrived, and Petrea directed them to her grandson, but they could not reach him. Bingham arrived soon after and helped Andrew away from the area.

“Everybody did a great job,” Graham County Sheriff P.J. Allred said.

The bees had taken up residence in an old, rusted out car that was presumably placed in the gully with other vehicles to act as erosion control. It was later learned that the boys had been shooting a BB-gun at the car and the sound of the BBs against the rusted metal is believed to be what set the bees in attack mode.

Jon Johnson/File Photo: Safford Fire Chief
Clark Bingham is being hailed as a hero.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: The beehive was located in this rusted out old car.

Sgt. Carpenter and deputy Baughman were the first on the scene and spotted Andrew in the gully but were unable to get to him as the bees began to attack them as well. They retreated approximately 150 feet from their previous viewpoint and they and other deputies guided Safford Fire Chief Clark Bingham, who was not in a bee suit, to where the boy was engulfed in bees. Bingham picked up Andrew and tried to get him away from the bees.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: This bee was located near where the incident took place. There are still numerous bees in the area foraging for food, but they are not swarming.

“He was kind of disoriented and just kind of standing there, (so) I grabbed him by the belt and the arm and we started running down the wash,” Bingham said. “I told him ‘we have to get out of here. Nobody can help us where we are,’ so we tried to climb the hill but he didn’t have the strength to do it, and I couldn’t carry him up it. We continued down the wash until we got to the fire training center.”

It was roughly a 200-yard trek through the desert to E. Graham Canal Road, where the Safford Fire Department Training Center is located. While en route to the road, other firefighters in bees suits arrived and began to battle the bees. Andrew was then loaded into a Lifeline Ambulance and taken to MGRMC.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: Safford Fire Chief Clark Bingham managed to get Andrew Kunz to the Safford Fire Department Training Center, which just happened to be at then end of the wash where the attack took place.

“What Clark did was exactly what needed to be done to get him (Andrew) away from them,” Petrea said. “Clark Bingham is very much our hero. He was willing to give his life for Andrew’s. That’s the true meaning of a hero.”

After initial treatment, Andrew was intubated and flown to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Bingham, Carpenter and Baughman were all treated for bee stings and released. The 9-year-old boy was taken to MGRMC by his family, where he was treated and released. Additional first responders at the scene included the Safford Police Department and a rescue aid team from Freeport McMoRan Inc., which transported Bingham to the hospital.

Bingham said he is also allergic to bees and the last time he was stung he began to swell up pretty bad. This time, the treatment of Benadryl and a steroid at the hospital stopped that from happening.

“I am grateful for that,” he said.

Safford Fire used soapy water on the hive and extinguished as many as they could. The following day, Mark Curley, owner and operator of Rattlesnake Exterminating, went to the site and treated it with chemicals so the bees wouldn’t return. When he arrived, he reportedly saw hundreds of bees still around the hive.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: Rattlesnake Exterminating went back the next day to make sure the remnants of the hive didn’t restart the colony.

“He just wanted to make sure that he took care of those for those in the neighborhood and the family,” Curley’s wife, Wendi Curley said. “There’s a lot of kids and people up there, so he just wanted to check it and make sure the bees wouldn’t come back.”

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: This different type of bee was found across the street at a residence under renovation.

The unseasonably warm weather has brought the bees out to thrive and Rattlesnake Exterminating has been seeing an increase in calls.

“They’re starting to come out, so be careful.”

The local branch of Sodalicious is doing a fundraiser to help the family with expenses. Petrea said Andrew loves the beverage store and enjoys the Eagle Scout drink. She added that the whole family is grateful for all the well wishers and prayers and credit that for his speedy recovery.

The fundraiser at Sodalicious will be Monday, Feb. 27. The location will donate 10 percent of its sales for the entire day to the Kunz family. Additionally, it will have  firefighter’s boot on the counter for donations, which will all go toward the family, according to manager Hope Maxwell.

“With the way that he is healing, we truly feel the prayers of the community,” Petrea said. “We are so grateful he is alive, again, that’s Clark Bingham. He truly is on a huge pedestal in our family, as a matter of fact, we have decided that he’s part of our family whether he likes it or not.”

What to do if attacked by Africanized honeybees:

1. Run away quickly. Do not stop to help others. However, small children and the disabled may need some assistance.

2. As you are running, pull your shirt up over your head to protect your face, but make sure it does not slow your progress. This will help keep the bees from targeting the sensitive areas around your head and eyes.

3. Do not stop running until you reach shelter, such as a vehicle or building. A few bees may follow you indoors. However, if you run to a well-lit area, the bees will tend to become confused and fly to windows. Do not jump into water. The bees will wait for you to come up for air. If you are trapped for some reason, cover up with blankets, sleeping bags, clothes or whatever else is immediately available.

4. Do not swat at the bees or flail your arms. Bees are attracted to movement, and crushed bees emit a smell that will attract more bees.

5. Once you have reached shelter or have outrun the bees, remove all stingers. When a honeybee stings, it leaves its stinger in the skin. This kills the honeybee so it can’t sting again, but it also means that venom continues to enter the wound for a short time.

6. Do not pull stingers out with tweezers or your fingers. This will only squeeze more venom into the wound. Instead, scrape the stinger out sideways using your fingernail, the edge of a credit card, a dull knife blade or other straight-edged object.

7. If you see someone being attacked by bees, encourage that person to run away or seek shelter. Do not attempt to rescue the person yourself. Call 9-1-1 to report a serious stinging attack. The emergency response personnel in your area have probably been trained to handle bee attacks.

8. If you have been stung more than 15 times or are feeling ill, or if you have any reason to believe you may be allergic to bee stings, seek medical attention immediately. The average person can safely tolerate 10 stings per pound of body weight. This means that although 500 stings can kill a child, the average adult could withstand more than 1,100 stings.

Source: United States Department of Agriculture

[NOTE: You can read more about Africanized Honey Bees on our LACBA Africanized Honey Bee page:]



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